Year in Review 2020, Biggest Sports Stories: Jehan Daruvala becomes first Indian to win Formula 2 race

An up-and-coming racer from Mumbai, 22-year-old Jehan Daruvala recently made headlines when he won the Formula 2 race at the Sakhir Grand Prix, becoming the first Indian to accomplish the task

FP Sports December 29, 2020 18:19:25 IST
Year in Review 2020, Biggest Sports Stories: Jehan Daruvala becomes first Indian to win Formula 2 race

Jehan Daruvala gestures after clinching his maiden F2 podium. Image credit: Twitter/@FIA_F2

Editor's NoteIt's that time of the year already. Every end comes with an opportunity to look back and reflect, and while 2020, by general consensus, was a forgettable affair, sports did manage to conjure some moments of lasting relevance. From Liverpool ending their Premier League title wait to the mighty Indian cricket team crashing like never before in Adelaide to the passing away of some of sports' all-time greats, the field of play, even in a truncated calendar, produced a fair share of shock, surprise, and awe. In Firstpost's latest series, we take a look at some of the biggest sporting moments of 2020.

Ever since its inception, Formula 1 has been at the very pinnacle of motorsport, an elite collection of some of the world's best drivers. The sport has also managed to draw a global audience, even making inroads into the Indian market with the now discontinued Indian Grand Prix and the erstwhile Force India team. However, there have been a couple of Indian drivers in the annals of the competition, namely Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok, there hasn't been much for Indian fans of the sport to be excited about in recent years.

All that looks set to change, thanks in no small part to the exploits of Jehan Daruvala. An up-and-coming racer from Mumbai, the 22-year-old recently made headlines when he won the Formula 2 race at the Sakhir Grand Prix, becoming the first Indian to accomplish the task. Daruvala was pushed to the limit in the race by Daniel Ticktum and F2 champion Mick Schumacher, but he showed great resilience to come from behind and successfully hold off the pair.

Daruvala's first win of the season came in the very last race, which is indicative of how the Indian driver has progressed since the beginning of the season, after being recruited into the Red Bull Junior Team to race for Carlin in his first season in the Formula 2. His start to the season was understandably rocky, with 12th, 16th and 12th placed finishes in his first three races. His results continued in a similar vein for a while, barring one fourth-placed sprint finish at Silverstone where he narrowly missed, but it was in the home stretch of the season that Daruvala truly showcased his potential.

Year in Review 2020 Biggest Sports Stories Jehan Daruvala becomes first Indian to win Formula 2 race

Jehan Daruvala celebrates after his landmark win at the Sakhir GP. Twitter@redbullindia

Following a change of engine in Monza and marked improvement in his race starts, the Indian racer consistently finished in the top-10 in both the sprints and the feature race in the five final circuits, finishing third in Bahrain before his landmark win. With his strong finish to the season, Daruvala will no doubt expect to be a key part of Carlin and Red Bull's plans in the future, with a decent run at the Formula 2 title next season seeming more and more likely. Of course, the ultimate dream will no doubt be to compete in Formula 1, but while that may still be a way off for young Jehan Daruvala, it's something all Indian fans of the sport will be keeping an eye on in coming years.

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